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Circular Address on Botany and Zoology; Followed by the Prospectus of

RAFINESQUE, C[onstantine] S[amuel].

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From G.S. MacManus Co., ABAA (Bryn Mawr, PA, U.S.A.)

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RAFINESQUE, C[onstantine] S[amuel]. Circular Address on Botany and Zoology; Followed by the Prospectus of Two Periodical Works; Annals of Nature and Somiology of North America. Phila.: S. Merritt, 1816. 1st ed. 36 pp. 12mo. A fine copy in 1/2 leather and marbled boards. A very rare book. We can find no records of any copy for sale. Richard Call in his Life and Writings of Rafinesque (Filson Club, 1895) says this was issued in both 12mo and 18mo and was distributed free of charge. It is the author's first book published in the United States. The naturalist, Constantine Rafinesque (1783-1840), created a legend around himself. Educated by tutors as a boy, Rafinesque never attended college but continued his wide reading and claimed a knowledge of some 50 languages. He began to systematically collect a herbarium at the age of 11. In 1802 he began to collect birds. His lack of a formal higher education let him develop both his talent and his peculiarities. It also kept him from developing the usual orderly methods of scientific inquiry. In 1802 he made his first voyage to Philadelphia with his brother. During his three year stay, he traveled extensively and was captivated by the minerals, animals, and plants that he saw. In 1804 he and his brother returned to Europe with many specimens. Over the next ten years he lived in Palermo, where he became an exporter of medicinal plants. In 1815 he sailed for the United States where he spent the rest ofhis life. He arrived penniless; he was shipwrecked at the entrance to Long Island Sound. He traveled at length through New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. From 1826 on, his home was in Philadelphia. No other American naturalist traveled as widely, accoring to the DAB. He befriended many of the scientists of his time. He was a capable businessman when he turned his mind to it and invented the coupon bond, but he died in a garrett in Philadelphia with his landlord intending to sell the corpse to a medical school. Friends smuggled it away and gave Rafinesque a decent burial. His scientific descriptions were often inaccurate or too vague; he loved to announce new species. This passion came from his belief that "every variety is a deviation which becomes a species as soon as it is permanent by reproduction. Deviations in essential organs may then gradually become new genera" (Atlanti. Bookseller Inventory # 50068

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Title: Circular Address on Botany and Zoology; ...

Publisher: 0

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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All books are in reasonable second-hand condition. We accept VISA, MASTERCARD, or personal check. Checks can be made out to the George S. MacManus Company, 12 Water Street, Bryn Mawr, PA, 19010 USA. Emails can be sent to books@macmanus-rarebooks.com. Phone numbers: 610-520-7273. FAX: 610-520-7272. All inquiries should be directed to Clarence Wolf. Deferred billing available for libraries. PA residents add 6%sales tax.


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